MWCD Board Approves Phase Two of Master Plan Improvements for $65 Million

July 25, 2019

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) offers outdoor recreation opportunities including camping, cabin rentals, boating, boat rentals, fishing, hiking and hunting on more than 54,000 acres of land. More than 3.8 million visitors enjoy the benefits of the MWCD lakes on an annual basis.

On July 19, 2019 the Board of Directors approved a $65M plan with a funding distribution of approximately $45M for park improvements, and $20M for marina improvements.           

The implementation strategy for this phase presents a vision for the future of the MWCD which not only includes the continuation of upgraded camping facilities and rental cabins, but also the development of additional amenities which have been long awaited and requested by the public. These amenities include additional playgrounds, spray grounds, sports courts, and fiber optic for improved communication, to name a few. Alternative camping, such as primitive/backpack camp areas, will be added to allow the MWCD to offer a diverse mix of experiences and reach a wide variety of user groups.

Phase Two of the plan expands the program to include Clendening Marina and Campground, Leesville North Fork Marina, Leesville South Fork Campground, and Tappan Marina which have all been acquired since the inception of the Master Plan. The implementation strategy for the Marinas in Phase 2 is to focus on infrastructure first, followed by camping and waterfront improvements.

The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Watershed, the largest wholly contained watershed in Ohio. Since their construction, the 16 reservoirs and dams in the MWCD region have been credited for saving over $7 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government, as well as providing popular recreational opportunities that bolster the region’s economy. A significant portion of the reservoirs are managed by the MWCD and the dams are managed for flood-risk management by the federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).


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